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Pokemon Black and White – first hands-on preview with US version

Last week, we finally had our first real look at the English-language localization of Pokemon Black and White. We've been playing imported copies for months, so while the US version didn't contain any surprises, it's nice to confirm at last that no major changes have been made in the localization process.

As far as language localization goes, we didn't get to see too much dialogue, but by leafing through the Pokedex it appears that thepreviously leaked listof Pokemon names was accurate. Besides Pokemon, the Hilink is now called Entralink, and the Live Caster is now called Xtranceiver. One new detail we noticed too is that when you bring up your Town Map now, and you move the cursor over a city or town it doesn't just list the name of the city, but the services available too, like the name rater, move tutor and so on. It's a nice touch that makes figuring out where you need to go a lot easier.

All the new details that make local multiplayer way easier via the C Gear and Infrared functionality are intact too, so you won't have to worry about entering friend codes for anyone who's sitting right next to you. When you have your C Gear on while your game is asleep it enters a passive tag mode too where you can swap data with passersby. In Castelia City there's a survey you can take (kind of similar to the Everybody Votes channel on Wii), where you answer Pokemon specific questions and see how your friends responded too. Be prepared to rack up major hours on your save data too, since time spent in hibernation while the C Gear is on count as play hours.

We also confirmed with Nintendo that the Dream World would be a part of the overall Pokemon Global Link website, although it won't be available at launch, it will go live sometime this spring. Online rankings will also play a big part in organizing the 2011 Pokemon Video Game Championships too, so you can secure a spot in the tournament by proving your skills in online battles.

So yes, everything appears to be in order for the US release. We've got just over a month to go until Black and White is here, so until then please enjoy some new US screens while listening to this week's episode ofPokemon Monday.

Above: Vivaldi, anyone?

Jan 31, 2011

Life is nature's way of keeping meat fresh.